Re Installing WHS on computer with replacement MB, processor and memory RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am running the OEM version of WHS with Power Pack 3 on an older Asus A8N-SLI mother board, a system drive (250GB) and two other SATA drives, 1TB and 1 250GB drive.  This MB is on it's last leg after replacing the fan on the Southbridge chip three times.  Additonally, this MB has a Socket939 making it very difficult (and expensive) to replace with old technology.  I have another good MB, an Asus M2A-VM HDMI with AM2+ CPU and RAM that I would like to use and move my WHS to that system.  How can I do this without losing data?  I realize I can copy the contents of my WHS share folders to another PC on the network so i can recover that content easily.  Since this will be new MB, CPU and RAM hardware, I believe I need to re install WHS on a newly formatted system drive.  Or, can I do a re install over the contents of my existing system drive and then use the ASUS M2A-VM HDMI utilities CD to install the compatible drivers for that MB.  I realize from reading other forum threads that I may have a licensing issue for the re installation of WHS but believe Microsoft will allow me to move my OEM license to the new setup with a phone call to them.  At least I hope that will be the case.  I surely don't want to have to purchase another license.  I apologize if the scenario I have described is very similar to others in this forum but hope someone can point me in the right direction.  Thanks - Craig
    Thursday, November 18, 2010 4:24 PM

All replies

  • In theory, you will be able to move all of your drives, make sure your old system drive is correctly positioned so it will be the first drive setup sees, and go through the server reinstallation/recovery process. See this FAQ for more information on that. (How easy this turns out to be will depend a great deal on your specific hardware and how skilled a system builder you really are, I'm afraid, and I don't guarantee you'll be successful...)

    As for licensing, Microsoft has historically been quite understanding about upgrading and re-authenticating your software, so I don't think you'll have much trouble.

    One piece of advice: consider purchasing a motherboard, etc. specifically for your server. Re-using old hardware sounds like a good idea, but you can run into a lot of hardware issues that way too. (As you doubtless realize with your current motherboard and it's failing chipset fan. :) )

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, November 18, 2010 6:20 PM
  • Thanks Ken for your reply.  I build and support a lots of systems for my family and their close friends.  Kind of the family IT person.  I chose my Asus M2A-VM HDMI MB (as a well broken in but dependable MB) to replace my ailing Asus A8N-SLI MB since they were from the same manufacturer with Asus being my preferred MB vendor for system builds since 2005.  The A8N-SLI MB has been documented by many to have the one fault of a failing fan on the Southbridge chip.  3 fans later, I don't want to go for a 4th. :)  Still, I will take your suggestion seriously of just getting a new MB, processor and memory.  With the MB / CPU deals out there, I may end up with much more of a WHS that I had originally intended.  Now to read more on "Vail" that has more robust hardware requirements.

    Update: After replying to you earlier today Ken, I realized that if I replace the motherboard and processor, it would be better to also replace the hard drive and do a WHS reinstall.  The summarized instructions below from Joe Burt - Moderator, aka 2007 seem pertinent even today in 2010.  As far as the contents of my share folders, they are backed up to an external drive plus I have duplication on for my shared folders.  Before starting this process I will record the user account information and take note of the few add-ins and any other items that need to be reconfigured.  Does that sound like a more realistic plan?

    Summary of instructions:

    1. Primay disk fails (or you want to replace it with a bigger one)
    2. Shut the system down, yankout the drive and put the new drive in
    3. Boot the system from the Windows Home Server setup DVD
    4. When it asks what kind of installation you want choose "Server Reinstallation"
    5. We will re-create the 20GB system partition as well as the primary data partition
    6. Drive extender will do what we call a "RebuildPrimary"
    7. When done you will have to re-create user accounts in the console, re-setup Remote Access, re-install and setup add-ins, and reconfigure any other setting change you may have done. 
    Friday, November 19, 2010 4:27 PM